Minnesota Licensing Bills Introduced for Practitioners of Massage Therapy and Asian Bodywork Therapies

Senate File 1074 (SF 1074) and House File 1275 (HF 1275) have been introduced in the Minnesota legislature and would require statewide licensure for massage therapists and Asian bodywork therapists.
ABMP worked with a coalition of professional associations, massage therapists, and massage therapy schools in Minnesota to draft this bill over the last three years. This bill would become effective July 1, 2021; however, you could continue to apply for licensure through either prior experience or grandfathering through January 1, 2024. While municipalities would be preempted from requiring local licensure of massage therapists or Asian bodywork therapists, they would still be able to require business licenses.
Below are the highlights of the bills:


Massage therapy means the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to promote, maintain, and restore health and well-being.”
Asian bodywork therapy means therapy based upon Chinese medical principles with the intent of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health and well-being by affecting the body and emotions.”
Essentially, anyone using the terms massage therapist, MT, Asian bodywork therapist, or ABT must have a license to practice. Other complementary and alternative health-care practitioners do not need to have a license under this bill.

Licensure Requirements

  • Completed application that lists credentials, description of disciplinary actions against the practitioner, history of drug or alcohol abuse, and any convictions
  • Proof of completion of a massage therapy or Asian bodywork program that is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education
  • Both massage therapy and Asian bodywork therapy programs would need to be at least 625 hours (500 contact education hours and 125 clinical hours)
  • Proof of liability insurance (your ABMP membership provides the appropriate liability insurance requirements)
  • Passing an examination approved by the board
  • Background check

Prior Experience Licensure (Grandfathering)
Those currently practicing in Minnesota can apply for licensure by proving prior experience in massage therapy or Asian bodywork therapy for at least two of the previous five years before January 1, 2024.
Licensees would be given a two-year license with a biennial renewal.
Municipal Preemption
If SF 1074 and HF 1275 pass, local municipalities would be preempted from requiring licensure of massage therapists or Asian bodywork therapists. The municipalities would still be able to require local business licenses.


  • Initial Application—not to exceed $285
  • Biennial Renewal—not to exceed $185

If you would like to share comments about the bill, we encourage you to contact your representative or senator. You can find them here. We encourage you to use this easy-to-follow advocacy email template courtesy of ABMP to voice your opinion. Simply fill out the email template with the appropriate information and send it to the committee members.
You can find what committees the bills are going to by visiting the bill links above. There is an opportunity to reach out to other senators and representatives when the bill goes to committee.

Minnesota statewide licensure would end the patchwork of regulation required by practitioners. SF 1074 and HF 1275  are good bills that are not burdensome on practitioners. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us.

If you have questions or concerns, email us at gr@abmp.com.